Thursday, February 20, 2020



Why the Left Really Wants to Kill America

The century-long attempt to kill capitalism in America gained a dramatic head of steam in the 1960s with the rapid ascendency of progressivism, a Marxist movement that would quietly seize control of the Democratic Party over the last half-century. 

Which was something different. For most of America’s 244-year history, the dominant political parties that evolved had a common goal constantly working to improve the country they both loved.  In the 1860s, a Republican president went to war to end slavery.  A century later, a Democratic president launched another well-intentioned war, a war on poverty.  Democrats and Republicans alike largely saw their country as a force for good, both at home and abroad. 

Beginning in the 1960s, that widely- shared view began to show cracks as the progressive movement began tightening its grip on the modern Democratic Party.  Democrat icons of the 1960s -- Adlai Stevenson, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Sam Nunn, Hubert Humphrey and JFK, to name a few -- were genuine patriots who loved their country, a sentiment that was shared by a large majority of that era’s rank and file Democrats.  Such is no longer the case. Here are four ways Democrats are looking to end the idea of America altogether:

Killing America by replacing patriotism with socialism

In October 2018, The New York Times reported that 69% of progressive Democrats  are ashamed of being American.  Increasingly influenced by the progressive wing of their party, Democrats as a whole have moved sharply away from that love of country, and veered toward socialism that sounded like communism: In February 2019, Public Opinion Strategies found that an astounding 77% of Democrats who plan to vote in 2020 self-identify as socialists.  Aided and abetted by the complicit mainstream media, the modern Democratic Party has been remarkably successful at driving down patriotism: Gallup found that less than a third of Democrats are extremely proud of their country.  That's less than a third, and trending sharply downward.

Killing America by making citizenship meaningless

Why has the modern Democratic Party worked so diligently to erode patriotism? Because love of country is a major impediment to convincing voters to support what they really want, which is yielding their nation’s sovereignty to an international governing body, ultimately the United Nations. With patriotism marginalized, a society’s populace can more easily be led to no longer see themselves as citizens of their country, but as “citizens of the world.”  (In his July 2008 speech in Berlin, progressive presidential candidate Barack Obama told an adoring crowd of 200,000 cheering Europeans, “I come to you as a Citizen of the World.”)

In Europe, the long-standing national identity of every progressive-run nation is already being intentionally erased, and it stands as a sort of bellwether of things to come over here.

Government-encouraged mass migration is its instrument, and the same thing is being attempted in America by the modern Democratic Party. This particular phenomenon is particularly associated with billionaire globalist George Soros.  The Hungarian-born "stateless statesman" is the most prolific financier of the progressive push for a world without borders. 

In his anti-capitalist best-seller, The Crisis of Global Capitalism, Soros sets out the progressive strategy.  Complaining bitterly about “the sway of sovereign nations,” Soros has advocated for, and since spent immense sums each year fostering “open society alliances” among sovereign nations.  The goal of these alliances is to indoctrinate citizens of western nations to accept the high-mindedness of doing away with national identities in favor of a collectivist world identity. 

With national identities erased, people no longer see themselves as patriotic citizens of their countries, but as united citizens of an enlightened global society.  People who oppose the unfettered influx of migrants and refugees are shouted down as racists and xenophobes.  Once open-border alliances have been solidified, the last obstacle is cleared for a borderless world governed by the UN.  For global governance to become a reality, the sovereignty of every western nation, including America, must be eliminated, Soros believes.

When the election of Donald Trump dealt a calamitous setback to the near-term realization of fundamentally transforming America, Soros penned an angry rant comparing Trump to Hitler, and calling him a racist and a xenophobe.  Known as “the puppet master” because of the enormous influence he exerts on Democratic Party hierarchy, Soros’s foremost target in taking down sovereign western democracies is the crown jewel of them all: the United States of America.  In working toward the culmination of that takedown, the billionaire globalist mastermind has powerful allies at the highest levels of the modern Democratic Party.

Killing America through identity politics

To overthrow a capitalist society, The Communist Manifesto calls for fomenting a titanic struggle by pitting an alleged victim class against an alleged oppressor class.  In the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks rose to power by pitting the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. 

Over the last half-century, the Democratic Party has taken the concept of Marxist/Leninist dialectical struggle to new heights through its use of identity politics. The term refers to politically subdividing the electorate into multiple factions (voting blocks), whose members are told they are singled out for persecution by a bigoted and unjust society.  To wit: People of color are persecuted by racists & white supremacists, women by sexists & misogynists, refugees & illegal immigrants by nativists & xenophobes, Muslims by Islamophobes, gays & lesbians by homophobes & religious bigots, the 99% by the 1%, and so on.  The goal of identity politics is to turn a majority of the American electorate against their country.

The self-serving narrative of identity politics is that caring, inclusive and tolerant Democrats will righteously defend the members (voters) of each identity group from the constant onslaught of outrages inflicted on them by an oppressive society.  Identity politics is used as a political bludgeon to deceive Americans into believing their country is an incurably unjust place where things can be set straight only by killing off its existing economic and governing systems.

That is the observed pattern and it's important. It tells us why the 2020 elections will determine whether our free market Republic survives, or falls from within to single-party socialist rule.

SOURCE 

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Trump Doesn't Mince Words After Obama Takes Credit for Booming Economy

On Monday Barack Obama laughably tried to link his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with the booming economy claiming it paved the way "for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.”

President Trump didn’t mince words and accused Obama of "trying to take credit" for the Trump economy.

“Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration,” Trump tweeted. “He had the WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression, despite Zero Fed Rate & MASSIVE quantitative easing. NOW, best jobs numbers ever.”

“Had to rebuild our military, which was totally depleted. Fed Rate UP, taxes and regulations WAY DOWN," Trump added.

Simply put, Trump is right. There have been eleven recessions since World War II, each of which was followed by a recovery. We did experience an economic recovery under Obama—it just happens it was the worst one. Here are the facts: All jobs lost in post-World War II recessions were recovered after an average of twenty-five months. But, it took seventy-seven months for employment to return to pre-recession levels, making Obama’s recovery the slowest recovery of all of them, and by a wide margin. Obama is also the only president in U.S. history to have never had a single year of 3.0 percent or greater GDP growth.

Economic growth during Obama’s presidency was so bad that mediocre economic growth was considered the new normal. In September 2016, CBS News reported that "with U.S. economic growth stuck in low gear for several years, it's leading many economists to worry that the country has entered a prolonged period where any expansion will be weaker than it has been in the past."

Investor’s Business Daily noted that there was “no upward trajectory to the economy on anyone's radar when Trump took office,” but “now that the economy is outperforming everyone's expectations, Trump's critics want to pretend that the current boom was already baked in the cake.”

Obama trying to take credit for the Trump economy is almost as laughable as Obama claiming to be scandal-free.

If Obama thinks he can claim credit for the booming economy—and that it will work—he’s got another think coming. A recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans credit President Trump for the economy.

SOURCE 

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She's Completely Lost It: Now Pelosi Is Claiming 'There Was No Acquittal'

Leftist denial of reality again

If you were wondering how Nancy Pelosi has been handling the events of the past few months, it's safe to say she's not taking it well. She's been keeping a low profile after making a spectacle of herself at the 2020 State of the Union address, but over the weekend she gave an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour that must be seen to be believed. If reality won't do what Nancy wants, she'll just deny it's happening to her.

She thought the footage you're about to see was so important that she shared it herself. After babbling for a bit to Amanpour about why she tore up Trump's speech at the SOTU, Nancy got even crazier:

Amanpour: What about, though, the fact that the president seems liberated? And this is about Democratic politics, so I'm not asking you to criticize here. But he was acquitted, his poll ratings are higher...

Pelosi: He was not... there was no acquittal. You can't have an acquittal unless you have a trial. And you can't have a trial when you have witnesses and documents. So he can say he was acquitted, and the headlines can say "Acquitted," but he's impeached forever. Branded with that and not vindicated. And even the senators were saying, "Yes, it wasn't right." But didn't have the courage to act upon that.

Amanpour: Except for?

Pelosi: Except for Mitt Romney. God bless him. And then the president criticized him for using his faith to do something he knew was wrong...

Well, at least Mitt can bask in the warm glow of Nancy Pelosi's approval. All is forgiven, Mitt! Forget all that stuff the Dems said in 2012 about you giving that woman cancer, and torturing your dog, and putting women in binders, and having an elevator for your cars, and all those other reasons they hated you. Water under the bridge. You're useful to them now.

Denial is the first stage of grief, and Nancy has been stuck there for over three years. Despite all her sputtering, Trump was indeed acquitted. She doesn't have to like it, she doesn't have to think it's fair, but it happened. She has no control over the United States Senate, and they don't answer to her. They voted. It's over. The End.

As for Trump being "impeached forever," so is Bill Clinton. If Trump isn't vindicated, neither is Slick Willie. And if the Dems had their way, Bill would be back in the White House right now!

I don't see how blatantly lying about Trump's impeachment is going to help the Dems in November, but then, I never understood why they impeached him in the first place. Is there anybody who voted for him in 2016 who isn't going to vote for him now that he's been impeached? Is there anybody who didn't vote for him in 2016 who would vote for him whether he was impeached or not? What did any of this accomplish? How did all this wasted time and money help anybody? What was the point?

Nancy Pelosi's logic is as shaky as her voice. But hey, don't let me interrupt that delusional old bat. The best thing she can do for the Republicans is to keep on yapping.

SOURCE 

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Don't Look Now, But There Was a Huge Second-Amendment Victory in Virginia Today

Gun ban bill defeated! This morning the VA Senate Judiciary Cmte voted to table HB 961 for 1 year. Three sheriffs were present: myself, Sheriff Vaughn, & Sheriff Millirons. Our 2A patriots sent a message, loud and clear, on these bills. We cannot rest however. Other bills remain.

Former New York City mayor, former Republican, current presidential candidate, and never a fan of the Bill of Rights, Mike Bloomberg just saw part of his gun-control agenda suffer a major misfire in Virginia this morning.

Virginia House Bill 961 -- "a ban under the guise of compromise" -- was tabled for a full year by the state Senate Judiciary Committee. Townhall's Lawrence Keane warned last week that the bill would have banned "the sale of semiautomatic firearms that are commonly used for self-defense, recreational and competitive shooting and hunting, as well as suppressors." Worse, "standard capacity magazine possession would become a crime" under HD961 -- or would have, had it passed. That seemed the likely result just up until minutes ago.

It would be fair to guess that last month's huge Second Amendment rally weighed on committee members' minds as they voted to table 961.

The vote is a blow to Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying effort to strip Virginians of their Second Amendment rights. Laura Vozzella reported on Sunday that Bloomberg and his organizations have "plowed more than $10 million into promoting Virginia Democrats," but it wasn't enough to move this particular bill out of committee. Is that a sign that the unearthing of some of Bloomberg's ...indelicate... pronouncements about women and minorities is limiting his juice with members of his own party?

Maybe, if this Valentine's Day tweet from Virginia Democratic Congressman Donald McEachin is anything to go by:

Michael Bloomberg Appeared To Blame Obama For Racial Division In 2016 | HuffPost.  Unbelievable to blame Obama for racial division! President Obama held out the hand of reconciliation only to have it smacked away.

This morning's vote hinged on four Democrats who broke ranks to side with Republicans in opposition to HB961.

Keep in mind that the bill will come back for consideration in 2021. Since that isn't a presidential election year, it's a sure thing Democrats hope they'll be able to move HB961 forward again -- but under the radar.

Stay vigilant.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

GRAB THE POPCORN: Racially insensitive elitist Michael Bloomberg makes debate stage, facing bellicose Democrat rivals for first time (AP)

SHADY: Bloomberg funding network of climate lawyers inside state AG offices (Fox News)

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: Reporter who caught Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch in their tarmac meeting says, "There's so much that doesn't add up" (RedState)

FOREIGN COLLUSION: Democrat senators reportedly held secret meeting in Munich with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (The Federalist)

VIRTUE SIGNALING: Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change climate alarmists (The Washington Post)

UAE GOES NUCLEAR: First nuclear reactor in Arab nation cleared to begin operation (Washington Examiner)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020



Trump Demands Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities

It's time for leftist jailers who free dangerous illegal aliens to pay the price.

Crime victims harmed by dangerous illegal aliens should be able to sue the so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that unleashed them on an unwitting public in defiance of federal immigration authorities, President Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. At the same time, he endorsed pending legislation that would accomplish this goal.

This is another politically astute immigration-related proposal from Trump who demonstrates time and time again that he is one of the few Republican presidents in modern American history who actually knows how to fight the Left. It puts the illegal alien-coddlers and open-borders fanatics on the defensive and educates the public in clearly understandable terms about who the bad guys really are in this fight over the nation’s future. It comes almost a year after Trump proposed shipping immigration detainees to sanctuary cities, which are Democrat strongholds.

As FrontPage readers know, the sanctuary movement gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement. Some left-wingers call sanctuary jurisdictions “civil liberties safe zones” to blur the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S. Leftists also like to refer to all migrants, including illegal aliens, simply as “immigrants” in order to further muddy the waters. This helps the Left portray conservatives, who are generally not anti-immigrant –they’re anti-illegal immigration— as xenophobic bigots.

Sanctuary cities really ought to be called traitor cities because they are in open rebellion against the United States just as much as the Confederate Army was when it opened fire on Fort Sumter.

President Trump railed against the sanctuary laws of California in his address.

“Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue sanctuary cities and states when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly practices,” Trump said Feb. 4, referring to Jody Jones, a guest at the speech whose brother, Rocky Jones, was allegedly shot and killed by two-time deportee Gustavo Garcia, an illegal alien wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Local authorities in California ignored ICE and let Garcia go.

The December 2018 killing happened after California, which is home to more than 2 million illegals on which the state lavishes unearned benefits, enacted “an outrageous law declaring their whole state to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants — a very terrible sanctuary — with catastrophic results,” the president said.

The illegal, who had prior arrests for robbery and assault, was released under California’s sanctuary laws that mandate resistance to federal immigration law. Jones “was at a gas station when this vile criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, murdering him in cold blood,” Trump said.

And Jones was just one of Garcia’s victims during what Trump called “a gruesome spree of deadly violence.” He killed another person, committed a truck hijacking, an armed robbery, and got into a firefight with police.

“Before SB 54, Gustavo Garcia would have been turned over to ICE officials,” Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said previously, according to the Washington Post. “That’s how we’ve always done it, day in and day out. After SB 54, we no longer have the power to do that.”

California laws curb the power of state and local law enforcement to hold, question, and transfer detainees at the request of ICE, and punish employers for cooperating with the federal agency.

AB 450 prohibits private employers from voluntarily cooperating with ICE—including officials conducting worksite enforcement efforts. SB 54 prevents state and local law enforcement officials from providing information to the feds about the release date of criminal illegal aliens in their custody. AB 103 imposes a state-run inspection and review scheme on the federal detention of aliens held in facilities pursuant to federal contracts.

Legal challenges to the state’s sanctuary regime have not met with success.

In 2018 the Trump administration sued California, arguing state laws prevented ICE from enforcing federal law. The next year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the suit, finding improbably that California law was not in conflict with U.S. immigration law.

Charter cities are allowed in some circumstances to enact legislation that differs from state law, according to the League of California Cities. There are 121 charter cities across the state, including Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Fresno, Irvine, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Jose, and Vallejo.

But in January, a California appellate court overturned a lower court ruling, finding that Huntington Beach and other charter cities have to follow the sanctuary laws.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes blames the sanctuary laws for a surge in crime.

“SB 54 has made our community less safe,” Barnes said earlier this month, according to the Washington Examiner.

“The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released.”

“The two-year social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end,” he added.

The federal legislation touted by Trump could do just that, though with Democrats in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill won’t go anywhere for the time being. Control of the House could shift in November, allowing the next Congress to approve it.

The bill Sen. Tillis introduced, S. 2059, the proposed “Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act,” would allow a victim of a crime committed by an illegal alien to sue the sanctuary jurisdiction that shielded the alien from ICE for compensatory damages.

Among the original co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

S. 2059 would allow “a civil action [to be] brought against a sanctuary jurisdiction by an individual (or the estate, survivors, or heirs of an individual) who— (A) is injured or harmed by an alien who benefitted from a sanctuary policy of the sanctuary jurisdiction; and (B) would not have been so injured or harmed but for the alien receiving the benefit of such sanctuary policy.” (Its companion bill in the House is H.R. 3964.)

In addition to creating a private right of civil action for victims of sanctuary jurisdictions, the measure would allow the feds to cut off Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to any jurisdiction that blocks victims from proceeding with lawsuits.

“If politicians want to prioritize reckless sanctuary policies over public safety, they should also be willing to provide just compensation for the victims,” Tillis said when he launched the bill.

“The Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act is commonsense legislation that will enhance public safety and hold sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for their refusal to cooperate with federal law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr announced Feb. 10 that the U.S. Department of Justice is cracking down on sanctuary states and cities that have “policies and laws designed to thwart the ability of federal officers to take custody of these criminals and thereby help them escape back into the community.”

“These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society,” Barr said at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference.

“Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

Barr said the DoJ is taking legal action against New Jersey, King County in Washington state, and California.

Of course, it’s not enough, but it’s a good start.

SOURCE 

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Are Americans Ready for a Homosexual President?

A glaring issue that few conservative pundits have hitherto dared to weigh in on was finally broached by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show Wednesday. Assessing Democrat voters’ options for presidential candidates, Rush observed, “You’ve got Fauxcahontas way back there in the background barely out of the tepee bringing up the tail end. Biden’s gone. So you’re faced with a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat [and] a gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.”

Limbaugh continued, “You’re looking at your options today, and you’re asking, ‘OK, can we win with Klobuchar? We don’t want to put Klobuchar up there because she doesn’t have a prayer.’ Then they’re sitting there, and they’re looking at Mayor Pete, a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage. And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this gonna look — a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?’” He then wondered, “[Democrat leaders] gotta be looking at that. They’ve gotta be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great ‘wokeness’ and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage. … They have to be saying this, don’t they?”

Predictably, the Leftmedia ran to the fainting couches, labeling Limbaugh “homophobic” for daring to ask a legitimate and cogent question — a question that no doubt Democrat leadership is quietly considering as well: “Is an outwardly homosexual candidate electable?” To be clear, the question is not whether Buttigieg can win the Democrat nomination; as we have observed in the past, Democrat women in general strongly support homosexuals. (Ironically, should Buttigieg win the presidency, there would be no First Lady or female represented in the White House, but we digress.) In fact, a good argument can be made that the only reason Buttigieg finds himself in contention within the Democrat field is because of his homosexuality, as he checks the Left’s “sexual minority” identity box. However, Buttigieg’s homosexuality may also be a deterrent for a large number of voters who are sick and tired of the mainstream media constantly shoving its homosexual agenda in their faces. The bigger question Limbaugh is addressing is whether the majority of Americans have a problem with a homosexual in the White House.

One who wouldn’t have a problem voting for a homosexual is … President Donald Trump. “I think it’s great,” he said Thursday. “I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with. I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.” And while there’s no indication that Trump didn’t give a genuine answer, it’s also illuminating. First, it negates the “homophobic” smear that would be leveled against him no matter who he faced in the general election, but especially if it is Buttigieg. Second, this also may be Trump tipping his hand as to whom he views as the Democrats’ weakest candidate and the one he would most prefer to run against. In fact, his recent back-and-forth with Michael Bloomberg may be an indication that Trump views Bloomberg as his biggest threat.

Finally, the moral hypocrisy charge with which the Left and many anti-Trumpers love to blast conservative Christians for having voted for Trump given his past indiscretions would only be proven to be the political canard that it is. These self-righteous hypocrites voice their support for an openly proud homosexual like Buttigieg.

SOURCE 

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Justice Ginsberg throws cold water on the Left's decades-long push of the Equal Rights Amendment

Last month, the Virginia state legislature, currently under Democrat control, passed the controversial Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Why does that matter? It makes Virginia the 38th state to ratify the long-defunct 28th Amendment that Congress passed in 1972, which is seemingly significant because Virginia becomes the final state needed to push the ERA over the required ratification threshold of two-thirds of states for the adoption of a constitutional amendment.

There are, however, a couple of major roadblocks that make it highly unlikely that the ERA will become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution anytime soon. First, when Congress passed the ERA, it gave the states a 10-year deadline to reach the two-thirds ratification threshold needed for adoption. That deadline passed way back in 1982. Second, following the failure of the necessary number of states to ratify, five states have withdrawn their ratification. (The House is voting today to make a new deadline, for whatever difference that will make.)

For those reasons, even the Left’s favorite Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, believes the ERA’s chance of becoming the 28th Amendment is dead. “There’s too much controversy about latecomers. Plus, a number of states have withdrawn their ratification,” she says. “So if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard states that said, ‘We’ve changed our minds’?”

While the ERA was packaged to sound fair in theory — with its calls for protecting “equality of rights” between the sexes — in reality it would have created a massive backdoor opening for the injection of socialism, enshrining abortion rights in the Constitution, and eviscerating the difference between the sexes to the detriment of women. Fortunately, even a feminist champion like Ginsberg recognizes the irony in seeking to break the law in an effort to enforce a new law. If only she always believed in that principle.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Monday, February 17, 2020



Trump Administration to Deploy Elite Tactical Units to Sanctuary Cities

Elite tactical units from the Customs and Border Patrol will be sent to sanctuary cities for several months, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday. The elite CBP agents are normally used to deal with smugglers and other violent offenders.

This is the latest in the escalating war against sanctuary cities and states by the Trump administration. And the sanctuary cities can't do anything to stop them.

“This is transparent retaliation against local governments for refusing to do the administration’s bidding,” said Naureen Shah at the American Civil Liberties Union.

The New York Times reported that Customs and Border Protection is sending 100 agents to assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. CBP usually handles border and port matters, while ICE is responsible for interior enforcement and deportations.

The ACLU is correct -- it is retaliation. It's retaliation for years of sanctuary cities thumbing their noses at the law and generating enormous fear and hostility against Washington among both legal and illegal alien communities alike. They thought this just one big game. They are finding out otherwise.

ICE, though, has increasingly struggled against sanctuaries, which while they vary in their exact policies, generally restrict cooperation between local authorities and federal immigration law enforcement.

The most extreme of jurisdictions refuse all communications, including refusing to tell ICE when illegal immigrant targets with criminal records are being released from jail. ICE says it wants to be on hand to pick them up and deport them, getting criminals out of communities.

Sanctuaries argue that if they cooperate with ICE it will scare immigrants from reporting other crimes.

I am tired of that excuse. Illegals are terrified of the police. What little cooperation the cops get comes only after the illegal is threatened by the police to be handed over to ICE.

If the left wants to use the heartbreaking story of illegals to gain sympathy for their cause, two can play at that game.

Mr.  Trump, in remarks at the White House Friday afternoon, blasted sanctuaries and gave a platform to Daria Ortiz, whose 92-year-old grandmother was slain earlier this year in New York City in a death the president blamed on sanctuary policies.

Reeaz Khan, the Guyanese illegal immigrant accused of killing Maria Fuertes, had been released by New York in November in defiance of an ICE detainer request.

Ms. Ortiz broke down in tears as she recalled her grandmother, a legal immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Mr. Trump put his arm on her back to comfort her as she spoke.

“The tragedy is my grandmother’s not ever going to be here again,” Ms. Ortiz said. “The man that is responsible for this should have never had the opportunity to do this.”

The courts may not force sanctuary cities to cooperate with the federal government, but they aren't going to tell Washington where it can deploy its agents. This war is a long way from being over.

SOURCE 

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President Trump praised for draining National Security Council swamp

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien for removing 70 Obama holdovers from the National Security Council:

“More than three years into President Trump’s first term, his National Security Advisor is finally ending the bloated National Security Council structure inherited from the Obama administration. And it’s about time!

The National Security Council personnel were quoted by the New York Times during the first year of the Trump administration bragging that they saw their job as being to block President Trump’s policies and the recent set of leaks associated with the impeachment are evidence that the NSC continues to be a politicized nest of ideologues who oppose the President’s foreign policy.

It is important to have dissenting on foreign policy within any administration, however, the dissenting views must cease once the President has set a policy direction. Unfortunately, the Obama holdovers have been simply trying to run out the clock on the Trump presidency rather than serving and supporting the administration’s goals.

Hopefully, this long-needed downsizing of the bloated NSC will result in an effective operating team as opposed to being the heart of the resistance against President Trump.”

SOURCE 

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Bernie Sanders single-payer healthcare system failed in his own state

Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic front-runner, but to win the party’s nomination, he must convince moderate primary voters that his signature policy, Medicare for All, is a worthwhile venture. But before he can do that, he must prove that it’s realistic, too.

Sanders’s home state, however, is proof that it’s not. Vermont was supposed to pave the way for a single-payer healthcare system. The Democratic-controlled state legislature drafted the bill in 2014, and Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin was ready to sign it into law. But then Shumlin realized he had a problem: He couldn’t pay for it.

The 11.5% payroll tax on small business and sliding premiums of up to 9.5% on people’s incomes “might hurt our economy,” Shumlin admitted.

“These are simply not tax rates that I can responsibly support or urge the Legislature to pass,” the governor said at the time. “In my judgment, the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.”

The system Vermont’s bill proposed would also have added even more administrative complexity to an already complex system. It made certain exemptions for large businesses, reducing the funding necessary to get the program running. And it was never clear whether or how citizens already enrolled in federal plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, would have been integrated into the system.

In short, Medicare for All was too expensive and too complex for Vermont.

This should be a red flag for proponents of Sanders’s policy: If an individual state was unable to implement a single-payer system, why should we believe the federal government will be able to?

Politically, there were very few obstacles standing between Vermont and Medicare for All. The problem is that Medicare for All is an obstacle in and of itself. Unfortunately for Sanders, the factors that guaranteed the bill’s failure in Vermont have not changed: It’s still too expensive and too complex.

The simple truth is that the majority of Americans still prefer to choose their healthcare plans, especially when higher taxes and increased regulation are the alternatives. Medicare for All might be more popular today than it was several years ago, but not by much. Sanders doesn't seem to care, but if he wants his campaign to progress, he'll need to.

SOURCE 

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Bloomberg — Authoritarian, Not Racist

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump deleted a tweet calling Democrat presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a “total racist.” Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not delete her tweet saying the same thing. This came after leaked audio surfaced from 2015 when Bloomberg said, “Ninety-five percent of murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, 16 to 25.” Cue the outrage mob.

That remark would’ve quickly ended Bloomberg’s candidacy were he (still) a Republican, but given that’s he’s a Democrat bent on beating Trump, it’s just old news. But after the clown-show caucuses in Iowa and the uninspiring follow-up primary in New Hampshire, the gun-grabbing former New York City mayor stands poised to save the party from itself.

MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid believes Bloomberg is the only remaining candidate who resonates with blacks. And without the overwhelming support of that key voting bloc, neither Bernie Sanders, nor Pete Buttigieg, nor Amy Klobuchar can hope to beat Trump in November.

This is why everyone from Trump to Bloomberg’s fellow Democrats seems to be taking shots at him. And there’s a growing chorus, including prominent conservatives Newt Gingrich and Peggy Noonan, who think he can pull it off. Bloomberg may in fact be the biggest threat Trump faces.

We’re not sure the “RACIST!!!!” charge will stick. We can sift through the political past of any candidate and find racially insensitive comments here or there. Yet some black leaders are quick to dismiss Bloomberg’s history regarding minority crime. This week, three members of the all-Democrat Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Bloomberg, thereby plugging the hole in a public-relations dam that was about to burst.

Given Joe Biden’s weak performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, black voters had already begun to shift their support to Bloomberg according to recent polling. That’s why his “racist” comments suddenly “leaked.” Next up: Relitigating his #MeToo moments.

Yet maybe instead of going after Bloomberg on race (or sex), we should shine a light on his authoritarian instincts.

As Brad Palumbo writes at the Washington Examiner, “[Bloomberg has] intruded on the lives of New Yorkers in the pettiest and most paternalistic ways, such as a nanny state ban on large-sized sodas. Now, Bloomberg is running for president on a platform of toxic, big-government centrism.” Bloomberg also has been critical of a free press, and his own Bloomberg News has stopped covering him altogether during his presidential run.

It is his anti-Second Amendment crusade, however, that is most tyrannical. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is the Leftmedia’s go-to source of misinformation regarding crime committed with guns, and Bloomberg — ignorant though he is about firearms themselves — wants to take away Second Amendment rights.

Black Americans may feel they have nothing to fear from a Bloomberg presidency. But if Mayor Mike makes it to the White House, we’re sure to see an expansion of the nanny state — and an equal diminishment of American Liberty.

SOURCE 

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UK: Boris Johnson vetoes mansion tax after backlash

The PM has 'cooled' on the idea to charge wealthy homeowners more in next month's budget

Boris Johnson has shelved plans to impose a “mansion tax” on owners of expensive homes, following a major backlash among Conservative MPs and grassroots.

The Prime Minister is understood to have "cooled" on the idea of including a new "high value property tax" in next month's budget, having previously discussed the proposals with Sajid Javid, who quit as Chancellor last week.

The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that the Treasury had also wanted to announce a nationwide revaluation of homes, which would have left millions of families with higher council tax bills.

Both policies are now "highly unlikely" to feature in the budget due to be delivered by Rishi Sunak, Mr Javid's successor, a Government source told this newspaper.

Mr Johnson and Mr Javid are both understood to have backed away from the proposal for a “recurring” wealth tax after this newspaper's disclosure of the plan last week sparked fury among senior Tories.

In a sign of the strength of opposition to the proposals, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives, warned Mr Javid about the "push-back" in the parliamentary party in a face-to-face meeting ahead of Thursday's reshuffle.The plans were first put forward by the Treasury as part of a list of possible "revenue raisers"  that could help the Government stick to Mr Javid's fiscal rules - which could now be loosened, in a move likely to lead to claims of the Conservatives breaching their manifesto.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

"NECESSARY IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST": Trump administration diverts $3.8 billion in Pentagon funding to border wall (NPR)

DEMOCRAT MEDIA COMPLEX: YouTube nixes video of Rand Paul mentioning alleged whistleblower's name during impeachment trial (The Daily Caller)

BUDGET IMBALANCE: Federal taxes and spending set records through January (CNSNews)

FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS: Hope Hicks returning to Trump White House as senior adviser (ABC News)

ON TOP OF FRAUD, IP THEFT: Huawei charged with racketeering and defying U.S. sanctions in business with Iran and North Korea (National Review)

CHANGING TIMES: McClatchy, publisher of dozens of U.S. newspapers, files for bankruptcy protection (NBC News)

WHO'S REALLY DIVIDING US? Man arrested for attacking 15-year-old Trump supporter in New Hampshire (The Daily Wire)

**********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Survey finds people who identify as left-wing more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness

Although this finding is a straw in the wind it is not by itself conclusive.  The sample is not a random one so any generalizations from it may not be sound.

It is however consistent with all we know about Leftists.  Their ability to ignore reality is definitional of them -- which indicates heavy use of such neurotic defence mechanisms as compartmentalization, projection and denial.

Even neuroticism may be a kind diagnosis, however -- as loss of reality contact is the core definition of psychosis. Looking at the evidence as a whole therefore I think a fairly safe conclusion does emerge.

Amusingly, ever since at least 1950, Leftist psychologists have also been projective in this area.  They have labored mightly to show that conservatives are the maladjusted  ones -- with results that are convincing only to themselves

The analysis below used data from a survey carried out by a Leftist -- who is greatly outraged at the impertience of that.  He offers some criticisms of the analysis below but starts out with an outright lie while doing so. His reality denial is certainly going strong.  He summarizes the findings below as "Both extreme rightists and extreme leftists are more likely than moderates to have been diagnosed with most conditions.'

But look at the graph below.  Extreme Leftists (on the extreme Left of the graph below, as is fitting) are more than twice as nutty as extreme rightists.  Extreme Rightists are in fact fairly average on mental problems.

We do have a very large problem with Leftists.  When you add in the truly insane torrent of rage and hate that they direct at Mr Trump, you have to conclude that a Leftist government would be a government for the insane by the insane


A new survey of more than 8,000 people has found that those who identify with left-wing political beliefs are more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Ann Coulter’s “liberalism is a mental disorder” catchphrase has become something of a clich├ęd meme, but the data appears to support it.

Carried out by Slate Star Codex, the online survey collected a wealth of data from respondents about their education, demographic, lifestyle and political views.

The results show that people who occupy the farther left end of the political spectrum are more likely to have been “formally diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.”



In addition, the results show that the highest percentage of respondents (38%) who admit being diagnosed with forms of mental illness also identify politically as Marxists.

In comparison, just 12.1% of conservatives say they have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

While the survey is by no means scientific, it does give an insight into how disturbed people are more likely to be attracted to fringe leftist beliefs, which in a lifestyle sense usually encourage degeneracy and a lack of moral responsibility.

“It’s not a myth that left-wingers are more mentally ill,” said conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. “And it’s not a surprise the internet has elevated crazy people with too much time on their hands to a central place in the national discourse. The “social web” is a social fucking catastrophe.”

SOURCE 

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Florida Man Attacks Trump Supporters With ... a Cane Sword

Peaceful Florida citizens holding Trump signs were minding their own business in Dunnellon, Fla., last Thursday when a man rushed at them with a cane sword.

Police arrested 49-year-old James L. Whitehurst II and charged him with 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of disorderly conduct, the Ocala Star Banner reported.

Victims reportedly told police that Whitehurst had approached them during their peaceful assembly with what was described as a cane sword. The assailant allegedly pointed the sword in their faces and made threatening statements, holding the blade 6 inches from their faces.

Whitehurst confessed to having removed the sword from its holder and pointing it at the Trump supporters. He told police he meant no harm by the threatening action.

This assault took place amid a flurry of new attacks on actual or perceived Trump supporters. On Saturday, a man crashed his van into a tent where Trump campaign volunteers were registering voters. That driver later confessed his animosity to Trump and compared the president to "someone s****ing on your grave." Earlier this week, a woman sucker-punched a man in a New York City bar because he wore a MAGA-style hat reading "Make Fifty Great Again."

These attacks remind me of the assault against Minnesota state House candidate Shane Mekeland. An angry man sucker-punched him in the head in 2018, while accusing Mekeland of not caring about the middle class. Mekeland blamed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Attorney General Eric Holder for instigating this kind of violence. "They're constantly driving this narrative of 'It's okay to be violent,'" he told PJ Media.

Waters called for activists to harass members of the Trump administration in public places like gas stations and restaurants. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) encouraged activists to "get up in the face" of Republican candidates and office-holders. Hillary Clinton said Democrats "cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for." Eric Holder declared, "When they go low, we kick them."

Liberals who routinely demonize Trump and his supporters as fascists or Nazis are fostering this culture of animosity and fear. Americans must return to civility.

SOURCE 

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Media Is Complicit in Leftist Violence Against Trump Supporters

Leftists have been rationalizing violence for a very long time, long before Donald Trump ascended to the presidency. The unhinged cancer has metastasized these past three years, and will not be going into remission anytime soon.

The media’s role in letting the leftist violence get out of hand cannot be understated. There are both errors of commission and errors of omission.

Errors of commission happen when they do things like lie and insist that Antifa is a reasonable “anti-fascist” group of peaceful protesters.

Errors of omission occur when virtually no one in the mainstream media can work up any outrage for acts of physical violence committed against Trump supporters. The stories get a few minutes of daylight, then it’s off to the memory hole.

By contrast, these very same people refer to every verbal dig against reporters as “attacks” that are endangering their lives.

The media are enabling the riotous, violent behavior of the anti-Trump people. They keep the denigration of the president at a fever pitch and, when it spills over and manifests as violent behavior, turn a mostly blind eye.

One of President Trump’s greatest legacies will be his complete unmasking of the American mainstream media, forcing them to abandon any and all pretense of objectivity. Sure, all involved are still paying lip service to it, insisting that they aren’t swayed by personal political motivations, but their eyes are dead as they do so and it’s easy to tell that their hearts aren’t in it anymore.

They hate this president. They hate any Americans who support this president. And deep down, they all feel that anything bad that happens to Trump supporters is justified because Orange Man Bad.

Journalists were once brave seekers and defenders of the truth. Sadly, they’re now so emotionally damaged they feel morally justified in perpetually egging on a powder-keg mob.

But don’t call them any names, because that’s dangerous or something.

SOURCE 

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The Glorious Alternative Reality of Leftism

Ben Shapiro
 
In 1966, there were 654 murders in New York City. The next year, that number increased by about a hundred. Then two hundred. By the mid-1970s, nearly 1,700 people were being murdered every year in New York City. That insane level of violence maintained until the early 1990s. Then, in 1994, the level of murder in New York City began to decline. It declined from approximately 2,000 people killed in 1993 to 289 in 2018 — a level not seen since the end of World War II. Needless to say, on a per capita basis, the murder rate had never been that low.

What, exactly, happened in the early 1990s? New York City residents were simply tired of living in a crime haven. They elected Rudy Giuliani mayor, and Giuliani pledged to enforce the so-called broken windows theory to clean up so-called quality-of-life crimes, stating: “It’s the street tax paid to drunks and panhandlers. It’s the squeegee men shaking down the motorist waiting at a light. It’s the trash storms, the swirling mass of garbage left by peddlers and panhandlers, and open-air drug bazaars on unclean streets.” In April 1994, Giuliani’s New York Police Department implemented Compstat, a data-driven program designed to deploy police to the highest-crime areas, preemptively targeting criminality, rather than reacting to it. Chris Smith of New York Magazine gushed, “No New York invention, arguably, has saved more lives in the past 24 years.” The NYPD also began to employ the “stop, question and frisk” policy, designed to allow police officers to spot people suspected o!

f criminally carrying weapons and frisk them for those weapons after questioning.

New York turned from a mess into a haven. But now Michael Bloomberg — Giuliani’s mayoral successor beginning in 2002 — is paying the price for a successful anti-crime record that followed in Giuliani’s footsteps. Bloomberg has defended NYPD policies as non-racially biased; in 2015, he told The Aspen Institute that supposedly disproportionate “targeting” of minorities was not disproportionate but based on criminal conduct and description thereof. In crude and insensitive but statistically accurate terminology, Bloomberg pointed out that “Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. … They are male minorities 15 to 25.” This may have been a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. In 2008, for example, 88.6% of murder and non-negligent manslaughter victims in New York were black or Hispanic, and 92.8% of murder and non-negligent manslaughter suspects were black or Hispanic, according to New York government statistics. And black and !

Hispanic suspects were actually under-arrested: By these same statistics, just 83.9% of arrestees for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were black or Hispanic.

Nonetheless, Bloomberg was widely blasted as a racist for his comments. That criticism came from both left and right. Bloomberg quickly apologized for his five-year-old comments, saying: “By the time I left office, I cut it back 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized.” But Bloomberg should have stood up on his hind legs and defended one of his only successful policies.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the counterfactual can be entertained without reference to reality. Thus, we are informed that broken-windows policing, Compstat, and stop and frisk should never have been employed — and we are blithely told that even without those policies, crime would have precipitously dropped over the course of two decades. There is precisely zero evidence to support this supposition, but that’s the beauty of writing alternative histories: No evidence is necessary.

The same is true in the world of economics, where Bernie Sanders can spend his days living off the largesse of capitalism — the man has a lake house — while decrying the evils of capitalism. It’s easy to proclaim adherence to socialistic redistribution while living high on the hog of the free market. It’s shockingly easy to get away with maintaining that American prosperity would not have been undercut by policies precisely the opposite of the policies that have driven American prosperity for centuries.

The joy of alternative realities is that they can’t be disproved. We can never disprove the supposition that without anti-crime measures, crime would have dropped anyway; we can never disprove the supposition that without the free market, America would have prospered even more greatly than it has. The acid test of reality never applies to a world in which bad ideas were rejected for more effective ones. Which is why Bernie Sanders, who has produced zero things of consequence for decades but has successfully mooched off the public dime for nearly that entire period, may become president, while Michael Bloomberg, who has produced thousands of jobs and presided over a massive decline in crime in New York City, is in the hot seat.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: China confirms 15,152 new cases, 254 additional deaths; consequently, Communist Party chief have been sacked (CNBC)

TROY PRICE OUT: Iowa Democrat Party chair resigns after caucus fiasco (NBC News)

"NUMEROUS CRITICAL ISSUES ... WERE IGNORED": House Republicans boycott intel hearing, accuse Adam Schiff of ignoring FISA abuse (Fox News)

CRACKING DOWN: Pentagon set to back Huawei restrictions (Politico)

**********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

**************************

Friday, February 14, 2020


Mr Trump's faults

The Left loathe and abhor Mr. Trump. The main reason for the torrent of verbal poison that they pour out at him is the way he has made America prosper.  Almost from the moment his election win was announced in 2016, American multinationals started bring  their money and their jobs back home.  The American Left was trying all sorts of coercive measures to achieve that but all Mr Trump had to do was ask.

But America does not deserve to prosper according to the American Left.  It is a deeply corrupt and racist country that lives off the sweat of the poor, according to the Left.  So to them Mr Trump is doing the Devil's work, not that they would put it that way.  To them, America deserves drastic reform, not prosperity.

They have to show some caution in expressing  such hatred of their own country, however.  America is still mostly a land of patriots and those deplorable patriots have a vote!

So the Left have to display their anger at Mr Trump in some other way.   And Mr Trump provides plenty of fodder for that.  His personal style is such that he has redefined what "presidential" means.  During his run for the presidency, the Left mainly mocked his hair, but they have now found many other faults in him. He boasts, he gets facts wrong and he fires back at those who attack him. He is frankly childish.

Mr Trump's personal style is so unattractive that many American writers -- including some psychiatrists who should know better -- have "psychologized" him.  They have purported to show that Mr Trump has symptoms of mental illness.  That he is a "narcissist" almost goes without saying.

But here's the thing:  Conservatives can see all those symptoms too. They can see that Mr Trump's personal style is a great departure from what used to be called presidential.  At a minimum he lacks dignity.

But that does not bother Republican voters. They look beneath the surface to his radical policies and very much like what they see there. His approval rating among them is 94% at the moment.  As an example of Trump supporters being alive to his faults, take this quote from something I put up yesterday;

Trump, to be sure, is a strange guy. I have never witnessed anyone more in love with himself. If there is a world's record for narcissism, he holds it. I am reminded of Oscar Wilde's comment upon looking at himself in a mirror:  "the beginning of a lifelong romance."

That does seem to me to be a reasonable statement but, being a psychologist, I want to put it into a larger context:  Mr Trump actually needs to be like that.  The torrent of attack and criticism that has been aimed at him would have crushed most people long ago.  And yet, as far as we can see, it is all like water off a duck's  back to him. To quote a popular metaphor, he "has got the hide of a rhinocerous'. 

So you need someone with an extremely high level of self-regard and self confidence to survive what Donald Trump has survived.  Narcissism can have a constructive place within the diversity of human society and Trump illustrates that. The great leap in prosperity that he has brought to America could not have been done by a more conventional man -- JR

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Financially Troubled Amtrak Is Taking Taxpayers for a Ride

Last November, several news outlets reported that Amtrak, the nation’s heavily subsidized passenger rail service, was on track to break even for the first time in the company’s history. After nearly 50 continuous years of operating in the red, covering all its history, 2020 may become its first year in the black:

Amtrak said it is on track to break even for the first time in company history in fiscal 2020 as record ridership led to an improvement in its financial results.

The government-owned rail carrier said 32.5 million riders took trips on Amtrak trains during its fiscal year ending in Sept. 2019, with its northeast corridor and state-supported lines experiencing record growth. The total marked a company record and an increase of 800,000 riders compared to one year earlier.

“We are growing and modernizing Amtrak. We have an industry-leading safety program and have invested billions in improving the customer experience, resulting in more people choosing Amtrak as their preferred mode of transportation,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “These changes have put us on track to breakeven in 2020, which would be a first in Amtrak’s history.”

Bloomberg‘s Justin Fox was quick to throw buckets of icy, cold water on that claim, finding Amtrak’s accountants were claiming subsidies from state governments as part of their operating revenues.

Earlier this month, Amtrak announced a smallest-ever “adjusted operating loss” of $29.8 million in the 2019 fiscal year, which ended in September, and said it is on a “path to achieve operational breakeven in fiscal year 2020.” Along with the news that Amtrak ridership had hit an all-time high of 32.5 million, this garnered some nice headlines.

There are some other, less-impressive numbers, though, that the government-owned passenger railroad disclosed this week with no fanfare. Amtrak’s net loss according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles was $874.8 million, up from $817.2 million in FY 2018. Amtrak also reported receiving $234 million in support from the governments of states through which some of its trains run; without that money, losses would have been well over $1 billion.

Since Amtrak is not a publicly traded corporation, it can skate by many of the financial reporting requirements that real businesses must comply with. In this case, that means being able to claim it’s on the verge of breaking even, although in a more truthful accounting, it is running through a deep, dark tunnel with almost no chance of ever breaking out into the sunlight.

Writing in the Washington Examiner, the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole takes on what he describes as Amtrak’s Big Lie:

Amtrak’s accounting system is so full of lies that even the pro-passenger train Rail Passengers Association calls it “fatally flawed, misleading, and wrong.”

The first lie is that Amtrak counts taxpayer subsidies from the states as “passenger revenues.” According to Amtrak’s unaudited report, 17 state legislatures gave Amtrak a total of $234 million in 2019. The taxpayers in those states were never allowed to vote on these subsidies, and the vast majority don’t ride Amtrak. These subsidies are no more “passenger revenues” than the subsidies given to Amtrak by Congress. Deducting these subsidies from revenues immediately increases Amtrak’s 2019 losses to $264 million.

An even bigger lie is Amtrak’s failure to report depreciation in its operating costs. Ignoring depreciation is an old railroad accounting trick aimed at misleading investors by boosting apparent profits.

It’s the kind of accounting that’s only approved by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., for government-supported enterprises. For what it’s worth, Amtrak does report depreciation in its audited financial statements but does not state this in its press releases about its financial performance, so the problem draws little media coverage, which is another Washington, D.C., trick.

But wait, it gets worse:

Even with federal capital subsidies, Amtrak is deferring maintenance like crazy. Amtrak passenger cars have expected lifespans of 25 years, yet the average car in its fleet is well over 30 years old. The Boston-to-Washington corridor, which Amtrak has often claimed to be profitable, has a $38 billion maintenance backlog.

Fixing just these two line items in Amtrak’s accounting shows that Amtrak did not come close to earning a profit in 2019, it won’t earn a profit in 2020, and it never will earn a profit. This is because, after counting all subsidies, Amtrak spends four times as much to move a passenger one mile as the airlines. The difference between Amtrak and intercity buses is even greater, which means Amtrak can’t compete in any market without heavy subsidies.

Since Amtrak depends upon so many federal and state government subsidies to get anywhere close to breaking even, O’Toole does propose a remedy for better directing those subsidies in ways that might actually improve its business:

Rather than give Amtrak billions of dollars to restore or build infrastructure that it can’t afford to maintain, Congress should simply agree to pay Amtrak a given amount for every passenger mile it carries. This will give Amtrak an incentive to focus on passengers, not politics.

Over time, Congress should reduce that amount until Amtrak receives no more per passenger mile than airlines or highways. Any trains that can truly be profitable will survive, but if they do, it will be because Amtrak has found ways to efficiently transport people, not because of lies in its accounting system.

Federal and state politicians and bureaucrats have spent billions of taxpayer dollars over the past five decades to make Amtrak into the train wreck it is today, with no sign they intend to stop at any time in the next five decades.

If we’re going to flush so many billions down into Amtrak’s deep, dark accounting tunnel, shouldn’t we get its flawed accounting fixed and the government-owned train service focused on serving customers?

SOURCE 

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Can Trump Win 20% of the Black Vote in 2020?

If you want to get the black vote, all you have to do is give a small percentage of black people options. Options that are long lasting and meaningful like funding historically black colleges and universities. Options that promote the welfare of their families like opportunity zones. Options that are expensive in taste, but at a low price like school choice. Options that give a voice to the voiceless like the First Step Act.

Well, how about that! The Trump administration has met all of the basic wants and needs of the black community. Generational wealth. Check. Better education in higher performing schools. Check. Reuniting with a loved one who got involved in nonviolent offenses. Check. Providing higher learning for first-generation college students. Check. All the boxes are being checked, and leftists' feet are to the fire.

Democrats have far too long had the black vote in their back pocket. It's like snow falling in the winter in Antarctica. You know what you're going to get.

Even Van Jones exclaims, "What [Trump] was saying to African Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he mentioned [historically black colleges and universities]. Our black colleges have been struggling for a long time. A bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them in real life in his budget. He talked about criminal-justice reforms. He talked about 'opportunity zones.' He talked about school choice."

Jones continued, "We've got to wake up, folks. There's a whole bubble thing that goes on, saying, 'Well, he said s—hole nations. Therefore, all black people are going to hate him forever.' That ain't necessarily so. And I think what you're going to see him do is say, 'You may not like my rhetoric, but look at my results — look at my record,' to black people. If he narrowcasts that, it's going to be effective. Trump will never win a majority of the black vote. But he doesn't have to. If he follows through on his current strategy, he has a massive opportunity to win a greater share of it in 2020 than the 5% to 10% that Republicans have received since 2008. If Trump gets even 20% of the black vote in swing states such as Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania, then Democrats will simply have no path to victory."

The Trump administration has already prepared the way to receive even more support from the black community. The State of Union address laid everything out perfectly. Trump supports the Philadelphia fourth-grader, Janiyah Davis, and her mother, Stephanie Davis, for school choice. The president surprised Janiyah and her mother with a scholarship so she could attend a better school. She had been formerly on a long waiting list. The president also honored a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman, Charles McGee. During the Super Bowl a commercial aired that show the commuted sentence of Alice Marie Johnson by President Trump. The 63-year-old was released after serving 21 years of a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense and money laundering.

Trump is ahead of the black vote curve and if he can win 20% of the black vote in swing states, it's a wrap for 2020. The black vote is actually simple. You must preach "pocketbook politics" in a way that is economically measurable. You must preach "social justice" in a way that benefits those who cannot defend themselves. Finally, you must preach "educational opportunities" in a way that black voters can see the benefits for their children. I am excited for this election!

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

AND THE WINNER IS... Bernie Sanders edges Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire, giving Democrats two front-runners; Michael Bennet, Andrew Yang, and Deval Patrick drop out (AP)

MEANWHILE: Tuesday's primary gives Amy Klobuchar major boost, puts Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren on 2020 life support (Fox News)

NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED: Donald Trump's New Hampshire vote total more than doubles Barack Obama's in the 2012 primary (Washington Examiner)

HISSY FIT: Trial team quits Roger Stone case in dispute over DOJ's step to reduce sentence recommendation (AP)

DRILL, BABY, DRILL: Oil from federal lands tops one billion barrels as Trump eases rules (AP)

LOADED SWAMP: $100,001-plus salaries the norm in Washington, DC, for first time (Washington Examiner)

GOOD TREND CONTINUES: Illegal border crossings plummet for the eighth month in a row (Townhall)

LESSONS NOT LEARNED: Virginia House of Delegates passes sweeping gun-control bill (National Review)

SHENANIGANS GO BEYOND GUNS: Virginia House passes bill that would award electoral votes to popular vote winner (WHSV)

JUSTICE AFTER ALL? Jussie Smollett indicted by special prosecutor in Chicago (The Daily Wire)

AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON: Sudan to hand over Omar al-Bashir for genocide trial (AP)

POLICY: How to take on the deadly drug cartels that run the U.S.-Mexico border (The Federalist)

POLICY: Yes, David Brooks, the nuclear family is the worst family form — except for all others (Institute for Family Studies)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Thursday, February 13, 2020


Hatred will re-elect Trump

As I watch opponents pound and pound, then pound again, on President Trump, I say to myself, "You're reelecting him; do keep pounding." I welcome the pummeling.

Trump, to be sure, is a strange guy. I have never witnessed anyone more in love with himself. If there is a world's record for narcissism, he holds it. I am reminded of Oscar Wilde's comment upon looking at himself in a mirror:  "the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Caitlin Flanagan, writing in the May 2017 issue of "The Atlantic," put us onto the ironic paradox of victory through the vehicle of hatred. The title of her piece said it all: "How Late-Night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump. Sneering hosts have alienated conservatives and made liberals smug." She observed what the public sees in the comic mocking of the "deplorables" — "HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. In other words, they see exactly what Donald Trump has taught them: that the entire media landscape loathes them, their values, their family, and their religion."

In January 2019, Flanagan issued this same paradoxical point to The New York Times: "You were partly responsible for the election of Trump because you are the most influential newspaper in the country, and you are not fair or impartial. Millions of Americans believe you hate them and that you will casually harm them. Two years ago, they fought back against you, and they won."

Then Flanagan added: "If Trump wins again, you will once again have played a small but important role in that victory."

The House impeachment hearings have enabled the same rise in public support of Trump. His poll ratings of late have reached the highest level of support in his tenure as president. Polls vary, but his favorable ratings now run anywhere between 46 percent to 50 percent. This owes to the intense hatred of him by the media and House Democrats.

Look at his presidential rallies since the poundings against him in the House: tens of thousands of supporters are showing up, many coming the night before and sleeping on the ground. The hatred has awakened the giant.

I don't much care for Donald Trump's character because his ego is larger than the Empire State Building. But I will vote for him because I very much like his many achievements as president. Haters don't want to acknowledge these achievements. They want to focus on what's wrong with a dream rather than what's right about it. If you show them a sheet of paper with dots on it, they will focus on the dots rather than on the otherwise full sheet of paper.

As I wrote this article, the Senate had just voted 51 to 49 not to have more witnesses testify. Democrats still want to draw out the final resolution of this trial. Ironically their slings and arrows will aid the president's reelection.

SOURCE 

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By The Numbers: Trump’s New Budget Cuts EPA By 26%, Foreign Aid By 21%

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 includes sweeping cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, and foreign aid, the White House announced Sunday.

White House officials confirmed to reporters that the budget will total $4.8 trillion, and assuming the economy grows at 3% each year, will reduce government spending by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years.

The budget cuts funding to the EPA by 26%, foreign aid by 21%, and the DOC by 37%, though the majority of that could be attributed to the completion of the 2020 census. (RELATED: Is Donald Trump To Blame For Our Ballooning Deficit?)

Still, the budget requests funding raises for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, and NASA by 13, 3, and 12%, respectively.

For the first time, the fiscal year 2021 budget will feature a chapter devoted entirely to eliminating “wasteful” government spending, as previously reported by Daily Caller. (RELATED: New Trump Budget Includes First Ever Chapter Defining Government Waste, Targets Programs To Eliminate Entirely)

The proposal targets agencies with overlapping and similar goals, agencies that provide similar or identical services to the same group of recipients, programs without a clearly defined federal role, federal programs that mirror state-level initiatives and erroneous payments.

Additionally, the budget calls for the elimination of the following programs:

* National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Education and Research Centers

* Department of the Interior’s Highlands Conservation Act Grants
National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Grants

* National Endowment for the Arts Endowment for the Humanities

* Corporation for National and Community Service (including AmeriCorps)

Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought is expected to testify on the full White House proposal during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

SOURCE 

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'Socialist and 'Atheist' Still Poison in American Politics—Unless You're a Democrat

A Gallup poll out today shows that a majority of Americans wouldn't vote for a socialist for president and only 60 percent would vote for an atheist.

This is in line with other polls that have shown a bare majority rejecting socialism.

But this poll shows some cause for concern. Seventy-six percent of Democrats say they would support a socialist for president while only 77 percent say they would support an evangelical Christian.

These findings are based on a Gallup question asking, "Between now and the 2020 political conventions, there will be discussion about the qualifications of presidential candidates -- their education, age, religion, race and so on. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be [characteristic], would you vote for that person?"

Gallup first tested Americans' willingness to vote for candidates who don't fit the traditional Protestant white male mold in 1937, asking that year whether they would support a well-qualified Catholic, Jew or woman for president. Support for a woman as president was only 33% at that time but has since grown, as has support for other diverse candidates added to the list over the decades.

Since 1958, the sharpest increase in voting tolerance has been for blacks, followed by atheists, women, Jewish candidates and Catholics. More recently, the biggest shift has been for gay or lesbian candidates.

The differences between the parties are striking.

Democrats express at least somewhat more willingness than Republicans to support most of the candidate types tested, with the widest gaps seen for Muslims, atheists and socialists. While at least two in three Democrats say they would vote for presidential candidates with these profiles, support among Republicans drops to just over 40% for Muslims and atheists, and to only 17% for socialists.

Republicans are more accepting than Democrats of evangelical Christians and candidates over 70. While President Donald Trump falls into the latter category, so do four of the leading Democratic candidates: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg.

Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to support Catholic and Jewish candidates.

We already know that younger voters are more willing to accept socialism. But Democrats over the age of 50 either don't remember the cost of socialism, or are simply going with the flow generated by their younger party members.

I think there are a lot of Democrats who probably don't support socialist policies but want to win elections. Then there are Democrats who don't want to be seen as "out of step" with others in the party.

The sad fact is, older voters -- most of whom oppose socialism -- are disappearing and the pendulum is swinging toward the radicals. I just hope I'm not around to witness the destruction socialism will cause.

SOURCE 

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Illegal Immigration Has Outsized Negative Impact on Smaller U.S. States

A newly released report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has revealed that the cost of illegal immigration on taxpayers is felt in states far from the U.S. southern border, and specifically in some of the country's least populated states. In fact, FAIR found that it costs 10 states with the fewest immigrants $454 million annually — or $4,000 to $6,500 per illegal alien.

As FAIR President Dan Stein explains, "In many ways, the influx of immigrants into less populous areas of the country has an even greater impact on long-time residents than it does in larger and more urban areas. These areas have neither the tax base, nor the economic and social infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the growing numbers of immigrants taking up residence."

Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are the 10 states in which FAIR determined that of the 415,000 foreign-born residents living in them, 88,000 were illegal aliens. On top of that, 35,000 were children born to illegal aliens.

"Many local officials tout immigration, including illegal immigration, as a remedy to economic stagnation," Stein observed. "However, as this report reveals, the reality is precisely the opposite. Illegal immigration, in particular, drives down wages and inhibits job opportunities for legal residents, while bringing more low-skilled, low-wage workers to these states. In turn, this increases costs to state and local governments, and discourages investment by businesses seeking a skilled labor force and lower overhead."

Immigration constitutes a massive financial burden to taxpayers. CNSNews reports, "Nationwide, the immigration nonprofit calculated that taxpayers spend $59.8 billion educating LEP (limited English proficiency) students in 2016, up from $51.2 billion in 2010." Some schools in small communities have suddenly faced a dramatic uptick in the percentage of LEP students. For example, Lewiston, Maine, with a population of 40,000, has had its percent of LEP students rise from 5% to 30% in just five years.

As Stein concludes, "Americans, in every part of the nation, are being affected by antiquated and unenforced immigration policies, which is why it is at the top of the list of voter concerns heading into the 2020 elections."

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

PRIMARY BEGINS: New Hampshire primary voting kicks off, with Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg locked in fierce battle (Fox News)

"SYSTEMATICALLY VIOLATING THE RULE OF LAW": Attorney General William Barr announces sweeping new sanctions, "significant escalation" against left-wing sanctuary cities (Fox News)

"GREAT NEWS TO REPORT": Funding secured for 1,000 miles of border barrier, White House officials say (The Daily Caller)

CYBERWARFARE: DOJ charges four Chinese military officials in connection with infamous Equifax data breach (The Daily Wire)

CLEANING HOUSE: Bigger than Vindman: President Trump scrubs 70 Obama holdovers from National Security Council (Washington Examiner)

BACKFIRE: Virginia Democrats are very good for Virginia gun sales (Hot Air)

OUT OF TOUCH: While Nancy Pelosi asserts "January jobs report shows the rot at the heart of the Trump economy," Americans say they feel the current economy is the best since the late 1990s (The Washington Post)

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: China still mostly closed down as virus deaths pass 1,000 (AP)

POLICY: Trump budget cuts size of federal government, but bolder reforms needed (The Heritage Foundation)

POLICY: Obama promised a "middle class" economy; Trump delivered it (Issues & Insights)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

**************************

Wednesday, February 12, 2020



MSNBC Host Warns Against Socialist Executions, Bernie Bros Want Him Sacked

After the New Hampshire Democratic debate on Friday night, MSNBC host Chris Matthews uttered high heresy against the Bernie Sanders movement by remembering the Cold War and the threat of socialist and communist executions. He warned that if Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War, "there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed." As if to demonstrate the truth of this statement, Bernie Bros got #FireChrisMatthews trending on Twitter.

"The Democratic Party has to figure out its ideology," Matthews warned. He said he was part of the Liberal Party in Britain, but that party was "overtaken by the socialist party [Labour]" and Winston "Churchill went back to the [conservative] Tories." Indeed, Churchill rejected the Liberal Party in 1924, warning that Liberals should support the Conservatives to stop Labour and ensure "the successful defeat of Socialism."

"A lot of this will be sorting this out if the Democratic Party runs a socialist candidate. That’s a change to the Democratic Party," Matthews continued. He did not condemn the expansion of social programs, which he firmly distinguished from socialism. "The Democratic Party’s been to the left of the Republican Party on the issue of mixed capitalism, more social programs. They push Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, enormously popular programs. I think ACA/Obamacare, I wish they’d follow through with it, make it work. I think most Americans would be happy with ... a public option" in health care.

Yet the MSNBC host also remembered the Cold War.

"I have my own views of the word socialist, and I’ll be glad to share them with you in private. They go back to the early 1950s, I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War," he said. "I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe if Castro and the reds had won the Cold War, there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed, and certain other people would have been there cheering."

"So I have a problem with people who took the other side," he continued. Matthews feared Sanders would be in this category. "I don’t know who Bernie supports over these years. I don’t know what he means by socialism. One week, it’s Denmark. 'We’re going to be like Denmark.' Okay, that’s harmless. That’s basically a capitalist country with a lot of good social programs." (Ironically, Denmark has been hard at work reforming its social programs in a more free-market direction.)

Matthews later brought up the question, "What does he think of Castro?" He noted that many Americans were originally excited to see Castro rise to power in Cuba, "and then he became a communist and started shooting all of his enemies."

Bernie Bros were not happy to see a liberal host speak the truth about the Cold War — and Sanders' dalliances with the oppressive Soviet communist side. After a few prominent liberals expressed disgust and blamed Matthews of anti-Semitism, #FireChrisMatthews started trending on Twitter.

Liberal writer and activist Shaun King suggested that any mention of Castro's murderous thugs in discussing Bernie Sanders would constitute anti-Semitism because Sanders is Jewish. He called Matthews' history lesson "one of the single most ignorant moments I've ever seen on [MSNBC]."

There is an immense difference between Matthews raising concerns about socialism by citing the Cold War and the character accusations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. When McCarthy accused people of being closet Soviets, he was accusing them of treason (and ironically adopting a feature of communist governments).

Matthews was merely warning about the dangers of this kind of big government ideology, and noting Sanders' very public support for the Soviets and their allies during the Cold War — he honeymooned in the USSR in the 1980s and worked with various Marxist political parties during his time as mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

He endorsed Socialist Workers Party candidates for president in the 1980s when that party was pointing to Soviet-aligned countries like Nicaragua and Cuba as inspirations for policies in the U.S. So yes, it is entirely fair to ask Sanders what he thinks of Fidel Castro.

SOURCE 

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Carville Blasts Leftist Dems; Candidates Hold 8th Debate

While Carville wonders if Dems are losing their minds, candidates appear to prove his point.

Following the Democrats’ Iowa caucuses debacle last week, former Bill Clinton campaign adviser and Democrat strategist James Carville publicly blasted his party’s candidates in interviews for their hard-left platforms. On MSNBC, Carville went on a rant over the Democrats’ poor performance, concluding that he was “scared to death” about the 2020 election. In a followup interview with Vox writer Sean Illing, Carville further elaborated on his concerns, bemoaning, “We’re losing our [darn] minds.”

Pointing to the lower-than-expected voter enthusiasm in Iowa, Carville observed, “Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected [and] what we wanted. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think? … And now it’s like we’re losing our [darn] minds. Someone’s got to step their game up here.”

Democrats have gone to the extreme left, Carville charges, and by doing so they are turning off vast swaths of the country. “We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party. … They’ve tacked off the [darn] radar screen.”

Carville also blasted Democrats over their “free college” platform, arguing, “Here’s another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this s—. And you saw [Elizabeth] Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. It’s just not a winning message.”

The Democrats’ elitist and self-righteous attitude is not a formula for winning, Carville notes, as he laments that this “smugness” and “patronizing” would only lead to further Democrat losses. “We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democrat Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.”

Carville’s interview was published last Friday, hours before the Democrat presidential candidates took the stage for their eighth debate. That debate made abundantly clear that Carville’s assessment was spot on. The Democrat candidates are simply uninterested or unable to concern themselves with any views outside of their narrow leftist ideology. As PowerLine’s Steven Hayward insightfully observed, “I watched the Democratic field show once again that it is running to be president of Twitter more than President of the United States.”

For example, not one of the candidates on the stage Friday night would have given the go-ahead, like Trump did, to take out Iran’s leading terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. Bernie Sanders strangely argued, “You cannot go around saying, ‘You’re a bad guy. We’re gonna assassinate you.’ And then you’re gonna have, if that happens, you’re opening the door to international anarchy.” Pete Buttigieg ridiculously asserted that “taking out a bad guy is a bad idea if you do not know what you’re doing.” Joe Biden suggested (without evidence) that “there’s no evidence yet of an imminent threat that was going to come from [Soleimani].” Never mind the fact that he had the blood of thousands of Americans already on his hands.

Regarding socialism, only one candidate on stage — Amy Klobuchar — raised her hand in rejection of the failed ideology. On the question of racism, every candidate brandished their “woke” talking points, deriding America as a racist country founded on racism. Sanders took the cake: “We have a racist society from top to bottom, impacting healthcare, housing, criminal justice, education — you name it. And clearly this is an issue that must be dealt with.”

Finally, one of the moments that most highlights the current divide between Democrats and Republicans was Biden’s chastising Trump for awarding Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “By the way, Colonel Vindman got thrown out of the White House today,” Biden lamented. “[The president] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman, and not on Rush Limbaugh. I think we should all stand and get Colonel Vindman a show of how much we support him. Stand up and clap for Vindman!” Biden demanded.

These Democrats are so out of touch with much of America that they don’t seem to realize the majority of their attacks against Trump are in fact attacks against Americans. These Democrats do indeed appear to be losing their minds.

SOURCE 

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Mitch McConnell wins through

Americans have just watched the impeachment drama meet its end in the Senate following orderly speeches, which was in stark contrast to the scripted-for-cable-news performances in the House demanding to remove President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been vilified by the Left with terms like “ruthless” and “egregious” because he denied additional drama to the same folks who still can’t get over losing the 2016 presidential election. In the eyes of Republicans, the Senate has, again, done its job — as has McConnell.

But, as recently as December 2017, McConnell was under significant fire from within the Republican Party grassroots for, at the time, his role in fueling the fiery and failed special Alabama Senate primary race. Many grassroots conservatives blamed McConnell for the fact that a key Senate seat is now held by Doug Jones, a lone Democrat senator from the South. Many also called the Senate majority leader an albatross around the necks of the conservative cause — as Nancy Pelosi is to Democrats. The list of grievances included failure to deal with illegal immigration, failure to halt Planned Parenthood funding, and failure to repeal or replace ObamaCare.

Put simply, Mitch McConnell was not exactly hailed by grassroots Republicans.

That was until the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

A month after Scalia’s passing, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland. McConnell cited his former colleague Joe Biden’s own words in shelving the Democrat nomination by declaring no vacancy on the Supreme Court would be filled in the year of a presidential election. The “Biden Rule” originated in June 1992, when the then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman argued that, should a vacancy occur when President George H.W. Bush was running against Democrat Bill Clinton, the deliberating body would “seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

McConnell’s move was a huge gamble, because nobody seriously thought Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton. But, as it turns out, McConnell ensured that Garland’s nomination never received a Senate hearing, and he provided voters with a big reason to vote Trump. Once Trump took office, he and McConnell delivered, nominating and confirming Neil Gorsuch.

DC theatrics were in full swing when Trump made his nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh. Unlike the Gorsuch nomination, Kavanaugh’s nomination came ahead of a midterm election and shifted the ideological balance of the Court. But McConnell’s steady leadership came into focus as America watched over 48 hours of questioning and hysteria that ultimately solidified the Supreme Court with an originalist interpretation of the Rule of Law. While most will remember the Democrats’ shameful display that displaced anything resembling civility during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, don’t overlook the importance of an earlier stance McConnell took that made this appointment as valuable.

These two Supreme Court justices are the shiny trophies promised by presidential candidate Trump. But, since his first day in office, President Trump has filled over 20% of the circuit-court seats in the country. His 34th circuit judge is being confirmed with three more in the queue for floor action. Compare this record to his predecessor, who appointed 55 circuit judges in eight years. Trump currently still has 128 District Court vacancies to fill.

Needless to say, the impact on the judiciary is already immense, with the guarantee of this campaign promise returning to the presidential trail in 2020. Yet this would not be possible without the Senate and the leadership of Majority Leader McConnell.

McConnell has embraced his role, recently declaring, “You’ll be pleased to know that my motto for the remainder of this Congress is leave no vacancy behind.” He’s doing the work to confirm women and men who are relatively young and intellectually skilled, many with experience as Supreme Court clerks. And their approach to the bench is “to follow the law and the Constitution.”

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

SIGNALING PRIORITIES: Trump budget would cut $4.4 trillion in spending, boosting defense while slashing safety nets and foreign aid (Fox News)

BUTTIGIEG PREVAILS: Iowa Democrat Party awards Pete Buttigieg 14 delegates, Bernie Sanders 12 after caucus meltdown (Fox News)

IF NOT FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS... Buttigieg argues for end of Electoral College after Iowa "victory" without popular vote (Breitbart)

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Buttigieg high-school essay praised "Profile in Courage" Bernie Sanders (The Daily Caller)

BRAVO: Actor Gary Sinise recognized with Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award for supporting veterans (Washington Examiner)

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE... Obama-produced film wins Oscar; producer quotes Communist Manifesto in acceptance speech (The Daily Wire)

COPS ATTACKED: Two New York officers shot in assassination attempts; Trump rips Mayor Bill de Blasio (USA Today)

POLICY: China's stranglehold on pharmaceuticals threatens Americans' health and national security (Issues & Insights)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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